Paratransit Driver CDL Trainee

Website Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)

Public Transit Authority for the State of RI

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is recruiting to the position of Paratransit Operator CDL Trainee.  This is a 4-week training program for qualified applicants holding a RI Class A or Class B CDL license with passenger endorsement permit or RI Class B CDL Permit with Passenger, General Knowledge and Air Brake endorsement permits.

Position:                      Paratransit Driver CDL Trainee

Posting Period:         July 4, 2022 through June 30, 2023

Salary:                         $21.28 Hourly

Reports To:                Training Instructor

Union Affiliation:    This is a Non-Represented at will position.

The Paratransit Division at RIPTA is its service for seniors and persons with disabilities. The vehicles most commonly used are 16-passenger vans able to accommodate two or more wheelchairs.  This program is known publicly as the RIde program.

What is a Paratransit Driver CDL Trainee?

  • A Paratransit Driver CDL Trainee is a temporary at-will trainee with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).
  • The CDL Trainee will work with RIPTA training instructors to obtain their full RI CDL driver’s license and required endorsements to be eligible for a permanent position of Paratransit Driver.
  • Once training is completed and the trainee passes the CDL road skills test, the trainee will become eligible to join the RIPTA team as a Paratransit Driver.

How do I Qualify?

  • Complete a RIPTA employment application and submit it to Human Resources with a copy of a valid RI CDL driver’s permit and required permit endorsements. All applicants are reviewed and selected based on criteria outlined under experience, education and selection process sections of this posting (pg. 2). Please note while all applicants are reviewed, not all applicants are selected.
  • Applicants are required to secure their RI CDL permit with passenger, general knowledge and air brake endorsement permit prior to being considered for interview.  RIPTA does not assist applicants in training to take the permit written tests.
  • Applicant must have a valid RI CDL driver’s license permit with required passenger, air brake and general knowledge endorsement permits.  Unfortunately, RIPTA is not able to provide CDL training to applicants licensed outside the State of Rhode Island.
  • Applicant must be age 21 or older to qualify for a passenger endorsement on a CDL driver’s license.
  • Must show evidence of a clear driving record history.
  • Must show evidence of a clear Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) check.
  • CDL Trainees are responsible for the cost of all required written tests, skills test and licensing fees associated with the CDL process.  For more information on guidelines for CDL applicants, please visit

RI DMV Fee Schedule-

  • Application      $10.00
  • Examinations $10.00 each endorsement
  • Issuance of Permit $20.00
  • Permit Renewal  $20.00
  • Road Skills Test  $100.00

Driving Record:

Candidates must possess a clear driving record. (Please note that certain violations permanently disqualify an applicant; leaving the scene of an accident, careless and reckless driving, habitual offender, imprudent, DUI or OUI, voluntary/involuntary vehicular manslaughter.)

BCI – Bureau of Criminal Investigation:

Candidates must possess a clear background check.

Prior to a conditional offer of training:

Candidates must submit a copy of their RI CDL permit with required endorsement permits, successfully complete full nationwide criminal background check, have satisfactory personal and employment reference responses and pass a pre-employment physical (including drug and alcohol testing and fitness for duty exam).

What is the Process if I am selected? 

  • Rate of pay for Paratransit Driver CDL Trainee is $21.28 per hour.
  • CDL Trainees are not eligible to receive benefits from RIPTA until they successfully complete 4 weeks of CDL training and pass the CDL skills road test to obtain their full CDL license.
  • Once the CDL Trainee passes the CDL skills road test, the trainee will move to the next step of the process, become a RIPTA employee.
  • If the CDL Trainee does not pass the skills road test, there is a 2-week waiting period to retake the test.  The Trainee will not be paid by RIPTA during the 2-week waiting period unless they are at RIPTA for refresher training.
  • If the CDL Trainee does not pass the second attempt at the skills road test, the Trainee will no longer be eligible to become a RIPTA employee.

When Am I a RIPTA Employee?

  • Once the CDL Trainee passes their skills road test, the following Monday will begin the CDL Trainee’s first day as a RIPTA Paratransit Driver.
  • The hourly rate of pay for a Paratransit Driver is $21.28.

Qualification Requirements:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Previous experience with elderly and persons with disabilities preferred;
  • Valid CDL Driver’s License with Passenger, Air Brake and General Knowledge endorsements required or must be able to qualify for one;
  • Must possess excellent customer relations’ skills; with the ability to communicate fluently both orally and in writing;
  • Must be computer literate with the ability to operate and read a tablet and/or manifest, as well as follow directions and/or a map.


  • High School Diploma or equivalent required.

OR:  any combination of education and experience that shall be substantially equivalent to the above education and experience.

Independent Action:

  • Performs within prescribed guidelines in accordance with departmental policies/practices.
  • Refers more complex situations to other appropriate individuals.

Supervisory Responsibility:


Selection Process:

  • Interested applicants should submit a RIPTA employment application to the Human Resources Department, along with a copy of a valid RI CDL driver’s permit and required endorsement permits to be considered for interview;
  • Applicant will be required to pass an oral interview and written test;
  • Applicant will be required to submit a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) from their state of residence to Human Resources when a conditional offer has been made;
  • Applicant will be required to pass a nationwide criminal background check to be conducted by RIPTA;
  • Applicant must receive satisfactory personal/professional and employment reference responses;
  • Applicant will be required to undergo and pass pre-employment testing, including drug and alcohol screening and pre-employment DOT physical;
  • Applicants claiming Military status should submit a copy of the DD-214 form;

To apply, interested applicants can visit to complete an on-line employment application and upload a copy of their CDL permit with required endorsements no later than Friday, June 30, 2023.  Phone calls regarding application status will not be accepted.

RIPTA is an Equal Opportunity Employer:  It is the policy of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority that no employee or applicant for employment will be discriminated against regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability status, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status and/or gender identity or expression.

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